Approaching How We Care for People with Alzheimer’s Disease in a New Light of Hope with Dr. Gayatri Devi & Dr. Eitan Okun

Original Air Date Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Most cases of Alzheimer’s disease are preventable with simple lifestyle modifications. But as soon as the disease takes hold of the brain it can be difficult to diagnose and treat because of the incremental damage caused by tissue loss.  Vaccines have been found to be effective in certain groups of people but for the general population, there is no cure. So, what can be done? There are ways to support family members and loved ones emotionally but every case of Alzheimer’s or dementia is different. To uncover the facts about the disease itself and discover
best practices for caring for people, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two doctors who study Alzheimer’s and dementia. Dr. Gayatri Devi has dedicated her life to helping individuals and their families continue a high quality of life after a diagnosis. And, Dr. Eitan Okun studies possible risk factors, preventative measures, and vaccines to combat this puzzling disease.


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Dr. Gayatri Devi — Shedding New Light on Alzheimer’s:
  • Why Dr. Devi chose to study neuroscience and brain health and interesting facts about Alzheimer’s. [2:17]
  • Taking an individual approach to treating Alzheimer’s. [6:26]
  • How to support an Alzheimer’s patient in mind, and body so they maintain quality of life. [8:48]
  • The stigma of a diagnosis can cause even well-meaning people to react negatively because they don’t understand the disease.[11:51]
  • Simple lifestyle modifications to stave off 30-60% of Alzheimer’s disease. [16:45]
  • The connection between depression and the onset of Alzheimer’s later in life. [19:57

Gayatri Devi, MD, MS, FACP, FAAN, is an attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital /Northwell Health and a Clinical Professor of Neurology at Downstate Medical Center. She is a board-certified neurologist, with additional board certifications in Pain Medicine, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Neurology, and she served on the faculty of New York University’s School of Medicine as a Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry until 2015.

Book: The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias


Gayatri Devi Website
@GayatriDevi on Twitter

Professor Eitan Okun — A New Light of Hope:
  • Professor Okun discusses his research in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s, environmental risk factors, and the genetic factors which may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. [24:35]
  • Is there a promising vaccine to treat Alzheimer’s disease in a targeted population? [28:56]
  • The genetic, geographical, and lifestyle management practices that may play a part in the prevention of disease. [34:00]
  • New research may lead to increasing nerve cells in the brain. [42:23]

Professor Eitan Okun has been a ‘lifer’ at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel, having earned his master’s and doctorate in immunology there. His master’s research analyzed how stress can affect a person’s immunity to various diseases. For his doctorate, he concentrated on the immune system – specifically how different nodes in our immune system respond to various threats. While Alzheimer’s is Dr. Okun’s primary focus, he is also conducting studies in other areas. In 2015, he received a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation to help
look for Parkinson’s disease in an MRI.


Professor Eitan Okun Website

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life — A guidebook for learning how to harvest happiness through self-mastery. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?

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“Why is it that there are people who have Alzheimer's who only have mild symptoms but never progress past it?” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“One of the most important things that need to be supported in someone with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is confidence.” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Even the most well-meaning people in the community don’t know how to react to Alzheimer's diagnosis.” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Women who have Alzheimer's tend to become more depressed and lose confidence a lot faster.” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“30-60% of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented by adopting simple lifestyle modifications.” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“I am aggressive about treating depressive symptoms because it improves quality of life.” @GayatriDevi on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Alzheimer's disease is being hidden out of sight for several decades before it appears as clinical symptoms.” — Prof. Eitan Okun on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“You need to have a combination of factors that are both genetic and environmental in order to have full-blown Alzheimer's disease.” — Prof. Eitan Okun on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is no clear-cut definition of Alzheimer's in patients. — Prof. Eitan Okun on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Physical activity benefits the brain and elsewhere in the body. It generates more blood vessels and it is beneficial for cognitive activities.” — Prof. Eitan Okun on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There is no specific diet that is good for all of us.” — Prof. Eitan Okun on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet